Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans officially declared his candidacy in the April 2014 Washington, D.C. mayoral race Saturday morning.
He explained his vision for the city, which emphasized multiculturalism and change and advocated D.C. statehood, at restaurant Le Diplomate in Logan Circle.
“Quite frankly, my vision is what we need to establish the District of Columbia as one of the great cities of the world,” Evans said.
While Evans argued that diversity is one of the Washington’s key strengths, he noted that he wants to preserve the vibrancy of the city’s African-American community while ensuring that all of the District’s population’s voices are heard.
In general, Evans’ platform focused on the development of a cohesive strategy to achieve D.C statehood, a school-to-career pathway that will focus attention on certain thriving industries and include support for public and charter schools as well as skill remediation to address Washington’s adult illiteracy problem, comparable access to healthcare for all citizens and continued support for small businesses and nonprofits.
Evans also promised to keep the D.C. government fiscally stable and enforce a focus on ethics and government transparency.
“In the Evans administration, we will have a no tolerance policy on those who behave unethically,” he said.
Evans currently serves as the D.C. Council’s Committee on Finance and Revenue Chair, which oversees the District’s finances and taxes.
Evans, who has served on the D.C. Council since 1991 and is the District’s longest-serving councilmember, previously ran for mayor in 1998. Placing third in the 1998 Democratic primary, Evans has grown in popularity since then, receiving at least 65 percent of the vote in each subsequent city council election.
Evans represents and lives in the Georgetown area, but historically Evans and the university have had a difficult relationship, especially in light of the 2010 Campus Plan.
In 2011, Evans wrote an editorial in local paper The Georgetowner, calling on the university to house all students on campus.
“Even if students who live off campus in our neighborhood are well-behaved, it is too much of a strain on residents,” Evans wrote.
Evans will compete against Ward 4 Councilwoman Muriel Bowser and Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells for the Democratic nomination. Bowser currently serves as the Council’s Committee on Economic Development Chair, while Wells serves as the Council’s Committee on Libraries, Parks, Recreation and Planning Chair.
Bowser’s platform focused on developing public spaces and housing, education and transportation, while Wells’ also emphasizes education and transportation but includes a focus on promoting environmental initiatives like the Anacostia River cleanup. Neither Wells nor Bowser has included D.C. statehood in their platforms.
If elected, Evans or Wells would become the first white mayor of the District of Columbia.
Mayor Vincent Gray has not yet announced his plans for re-election. As of press time, no Republican candidates have entered the race.